Surpass CL Central

The Central Hub of the Surpass System, Surpass Central runs at the circulation desk and administrative stations to handle all circulation, administration, and reporting functions.


Surpass CL base package provides all of the essentials for automating your church library. Available ONLY to places of worship, Surpass CL is a specialized product designed especially for church libraries.

Surpass CL is professional quality software with a volunteer-friendly interface. Surpass uses the industry-standard MARC record format.

Click the links for details about each area of Surpass CL. All of these features are included in the base CL package.

Quick Cataloging: Internet Download


Surpass CL Central includes the ability to find book records on the Internet by simply entering the ISBN. This time-saving feature is called Surpass Quick Cataloging, and is included at no extra charge.

Simply scan the book’s ISBN barcode (or enter by hand) and let Surpass CL find the cataloging information on the Internet from the U.S. Library of Congress. It’s that easy! There is little or no typing, and volunteers easily learn how to help.


Power cataloging: Surpass Copycat add-on

For even more power than Quick Cataloging, Surpass CL is compatible with Surpass Copycat. With the full version of Surpass Copycat you can select from hundreds of available libraries to use for searching. You’ll also benefit from “multi-search,” a powerful feature that lets you scan or enter a whole list of ISBNs for Copycat to search for batches of records at one time.

This table shows the key differences between quick cataloging and Copycat

Quick Cataloging Surpass Copycat (full version)
Free Extra cost
Search US Library of Congress Search hundreds of libraries
Search for one book at a time Multi-search
Search by ISBN only Search by author, title, or ISBN

Surpass Copycat is an additional $295 for small libraries (under 5,000 volumes) or $450 for larger libraries. Visit the Surpass Copycat page for more information.

Hand Cataloging: Fill in the blanks


Surpass CL is a full MARC-based system, yet there is no need to have MARC expertise. When not downloading records from the Internet with Surpass Quick Cataloging, you simply fill in the blanks for author, title, and other fields.


Patron management is simple with Surpass. Simply fill in the blanks and you’re ready to go with as little as just a name and number. You can optionally set patrons to belong to a patron type that has different circulation rules. For example, you might allow more materials to be checked out to adults than to children, or fewer materials to visitors than to regular members.

You can even import patron photos from a digital camera or some church directory software. Photos appear on patron records, and you can even print color photo library cards to distribute. Cards are especially useful if you use the included Surpass Self-Check. Just print cards to a color ink-jet printer and laminate with an inexpensive laminator.


Once your books and patrons are entered, you can circulate materials. Fully automate circulation or, when the library is unattended, have patrons leave barcoded pocket cards for later scanning. Surpass CL includes a feature for patrons to check out on their own using a mouse or touch-screen monitor.

Surpass GoCirc provides mobile circulation from an iPad, tablet, phone, or other device.

GoCirc is a free add-on, available when subscribing to Surpass Hosting Service as part of your complete solution. Read more on the GoCirc page.


If your library is ever unmanned, you’ll find Surpass Self-Check to be invaluable! Before you leave the library, simply position your monitor, mouse, and barcode scanner so that patrons can use them with Surpass Self-Check. It’s completely mouse or touch-screen driven, so there’s no need to leave the keyboard out, and no chance for anyone to access anything else on your computer.

Self-Check’s intuitive interface makes it easy for patrons to check out items, check in items, or view their account status. All they need to know is their patron number provided by e-mail or patron library cards, both generated from Surpass CL. You may optionally require a PIN. Surpass Self-Check is included at no extra charge!


Surpass CL makes it easy to send overdue and other notices to patrons. You can print notices or send them via e-mail. When printing, you can even specify to print multiple notices per page to save paper, or you can position the patron address so that it will be visible through a window envelope for mailed notices. You can write and edit your own notice text and save multiple versions for future use.

Surpass CL includes a variety of reports to meet your needs, from circulation statistics to material and patron lists. A variety of options help you define the report the way you want.